PICO HOLDINGS: Names Raymond Marino Chairman of Board

As originally appeared in Troubled Company Reporter.
PICO Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:PICO), based in La Jolla, Calif., is a diversified holding company reporting recurring losses since 2008. PICO owns 57% of UCP, Inc. (NYSE:UCP), 100% of Vidler Water Company, Inc., a securities portfolio and various interests in small businesses. PICO has $664 million in assets and $434 million in shareholder PICO has $664 million in assets and $434 million in shareholder equity. Central Square Management LLC and River Road Asset Management LLC collectively own more than 14% of PICO and have agitated for governance and financial changes. Sean Leder owns 1% of PICO shares and seeks shareholder authorization to call a Special Meeting to remove and replace five directors. Other activists at http://ReformPICONow.com/ have taken to the Internet to advance the shareholder cause.
PICO’s Board appointed Raymond V. Marino II non-executive Chairman of PICO’s Board of Directors.
“Ray is extremely well suited to serve as the Board’s Chairman and I and the rest of the PICO Board look forward to working with Ray in his new role,” said John R. Hart, PICO’s Chief Executive Officer. “His extensive experience in real estate, investment management, executive-level management, risk oversight, strategic planning, financial reporting and corporate governance as well as public company board experience clearly provides him with the leadership, governance and other relevant experience needed to lead the PICO Board as it oversees PICO’s execution of its business plan that contemplates, as assets are monetized, PICO would return capital back to shareholders through stock repurchases or through other means such as special dividends.”
“I am pleased and honored to have the opportunity to serve as
Chairman of the PICO Board of Directors at such a pivotal time for PICO,” said Mr. Marino. “I look forward to serving PICO in this important leadership and corporate governance role as PICO executes on its plans to return capital to shareholders. Additionally, as we transition the leadership of the Board, I would like to thank my fellow directors for their support, and recognize Carlos Campbell for the commitment, dedication and leadership he provided PICO over the past few months as lead independent director.”
About Raymond V. Marino II
Since 2013, Mr. Marino has been in the investment advisory business where he is involved in researching, evaluating and negotiating a variety of investments for his personal portfolio and third party investors involving real estate and non-real estate investments, and has completed buy-side and sell-side real estate advisory assignments for third parties in excess of $130 million.
From 2001 to 2013, Mr. Marino was the President and Chief Operating Officer, as well as a member of the board of directors, of Mission West Properties, Inc., a publicly traded real estate investment trust involved in the development, investment and management of an office and industrial portfolio that exceeded 9 million square feet.
From November 1996 to August 2000, he was President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Pacific Gateway Properties, Inc., a publicly traded real estate investment trust which owned and managed a diversified portfolio of assets. Mr.Marino is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California (inactive), a graduate of Golden Gate University, where he obtained an M.S. degree, and of Santa Clara University, where he obtained a B.S. degree.